Friday, September 23, 2011

Taking the Long Way to Puente Via Oropesa...

One of the last times we were in Puente, we visited the town bakery, Repostería Pastelería Gutierrez. We have named his fabulous spongy pound cakes, "puente cakes," (I know, very original), and we have to call ahead and place a special order or the townspeople get upset when we buy out the bakery. Anyway, when we went to get our Puente Cakes on our last trip, he asked us if we had ever visited Oropesa, less than 10 miles down the road. He told us there was a beautiful parador there that used to be an old fortress. We didn't have time to visit that day, as we needed to be back in Madrid to get the kids off the bus, but I decided the next time I went on a pottery run to Puente, I would make a stop at Oropesa. In July, I needed to go pick up some pottery we were giving as a wedding gift, and since being back for the bus wasn't an issue, my friend, Nicole, and I had the chance to check out the parador in Oropesa and to walk around the town...


Paradores are medieval castles, Moorish fortresses, monasteries, palaces and manor houses that have been converted into fabulous hotel and resort styles properties. According to Frommers.com, "Funded and maintained by the government, Spain's paradores are hostelries that showcase a building or setting of important cultural and historical interest. Some are much older and grander than others."


I have visited two, but stayed in none...yet! The parador in Toledo has a terrace with a breathtaking view of Toledo, and the one in Oropesa is truly stunning. What surprises me most about the paradores is the decor. They are decorated with beautiful old world style furniture, with paintings and tapestries covering the walls, oriental rugs cover the floors, dark woodwork is everywhere. I have to say the two I have seen are stunning. My friends stayed in the parador in Santiago de Compostela after walking the Camino for three days and loved it! Click on this link, http://www.parador.es/en/portal.do to go to the official Parador website which you can view in Spanish, English, French, German, as well as the regional languages of Catalunya and Galicia. The site has links to an online digital magazine, an online TV channel, special offers, and the abilities to view pictures of and make reservations at over 80 different paradors all across Spain.
Drive your car through this arcway to the inside of the fortress...Here is a park outside the fortress with a view of the mountains...

Inside the compund offers this view of the fortress...

The upstairs balcony now holds tables and chairs for guest to dine al fresco (a fuera in Spanish)...


Here is a view of the many palors of salons in the parador...notice the beautiful decor...

A cozy place to sit and wait...

The dining room...imagine the soldiers eating in the Mess Hall oh so long ago...


Looking up at the beautiful architecture...

Outside the fortress...

A view of the beautiful mountains...

Nicole and I decided to walk into the town...

The church above and a little hotel below...

I don't know what this used to be, but it looks like a great place to hold outdoor performances to me...

Another beautiful building in Oropesa...

Walking into the Plaza...

The clock tower is the tallest point in the plaza...

This worker definitely gets his exercise in...

A look down one of Oropesa's streets...

Doesn't seem to matter what country it is, old men everywhere seem to love to gather and chat...and they say ladies like to run their mouths. ;-)

An old man walking his dog...I think it is a requirement in Europe that all old men walk with their hands clasped behind their backs...

Oropesa is full of murals of armored soldiers on horseback...




Just charming...glad we took the detour from Puente that day...Hasta luego...

2 comments:

  1. I like that old people in warm countries spend so much time outside together
    I agree about the way they walk dogs:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never knew about paradores... so cool!

    ReplyDelete

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